Following the American Civil War Sesquicentennial with day by day writings of the time, currently 1863.

Post image for Rutherford B. Hayes.

Rutherford B. Hayes.

March 22, 2013

Diary and Letters of Rutherford Birchard Hayes

Camp White, Near Charleston, Virginia, March 22, 1863.

Dear Uncle: — We came out of the wilderness a week ago today. We are now pleasantly located on the left bank of the Kanawha, just below (opposite) Charleston. We are almost at home, and can expect to see anxious friends soon. You would, I think, enjoy a trip up here in a few weeks. You can get on a steamer at Cincinnati and land at our camp, and be safely and comfortably housed here. Lucy and the boys, after a most happy time, went home yesterday. We shall expect to see them again while we are here.

We seem intended for a permanent garrison here. We shall probably be visited by the Rebels while here. Our force is small but will perhaps do. My command is Twenty-third Ohio, Fifth and Thirteenth Virginia, three companies of cavalry, and a fine battery. I have some of the best, and I suspect some of about the poorest troops in service. They are scattered from Gauley to the mouth of Sandy on the Kentucky line. They are well posted to keep down bushwhacking and the like, but would be of small account against an invading force. We have three weak, but very good regiments, Twenty-third, Twelfth, and Thirty-fourth Ohio, some, a small amount, of good cavalry and good artillery, and about three or four regiments of indifferent infantry. So we shall probably see fun, if the enemy thinks it worth while to come in. Come and see me.


R. B. Hayes.

S. Birchard.

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